Chinook off-limits on Green Peter through October

Retention of Chinook salmon in Green Peter Reservoir is prohibited through Oct. 31, under a temporary rule adopted by Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the agency has announced.

The rule is consistent with similar water bodies in the Willamette Zone (Detroit and Foster reservoirs) where ESA-listed spring Chinook have been released above dams.

According to ODFW, the rule is needed to protect hatchery Chinook adults as they are released above Green Peter Reservoir. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is releasing fish in response to a recent court order requiring the development of safe downstream fish passage at Green Peter Dam.

A large portion of the historical spawning habitat in the South Santiam sub-basin exists above Green Peter Dam. These hatchery fish and their offspring will be studied to determine the best option for salmonid passage and survival.

Retention of salmon is already prohibited in the streams above Green Peter Reservoir. If you hook a Chinook while angling, see these tips on how to release the fish safely.

The release of adult Chinook also means that during the summer and fall visitors may see salmon carcasses in the rivers above Green Peter Dam. Those carcasses should be left in the water so they can provide nutrient enrichment to the stream. Remember that dogs should not eat raw salmon (carcasses) because it can make them very sick.

All other permanent regulations in the 2022 Oregon Sport Fishing Regulations remain in effect. For the latest fishing regulations, check the Recreation Report Fishing Report /myodfw.com/recreation-report/fishing-report/willamette-zone.

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Substantial reward increases for the Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery make it potentially more profitable for anglers participating in the 2022 season.

This year anglers will earn $6, $8 or $10 – up from $5, $6 and $8 – for each pikeminnow that is at least 9 inches long. It’s the first reward increase since 2015.

The more fish caught, the more each pikeminnow is worth. Specially tagged northern pikeminnow released by state fish and wildlife biologists into the Columbia and Snake rivers are each worth $200 to $500.

In addition to increasing reward amounts, program managers are making it easier to participate. Online registration and an app are expected to debut early in the 2022 season.

“These tools will make it more convenient for people to participate, particularly those who don’t live near a pikeminnow registration station,” said Eric Winther, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Columbia River Predator Control Program project leader. “Currently, people have to drive to a station and fill out paperwork before heading out to fish.

Registering online or through the app means they can go directly to the river, spend more time fishing and make one trip to the station to turn in their catch.”

Eighteen full-time stations will operate during the five-month season, which began May 1, with two to four additional satellite stations available later in the season.

These satellite stations offer anglers additional pikeminnow harvest opportunities in areas with good fishing during short windows of time. Interested anglers are encouraged to get the most up-to-date information on the program website, http://www.pikeminnow.org, before heading out.

Northern pikeminnow consume millions of young salmon and steelhead each year. Since 1990, anglers paid through the program have removed nearly 5 million pikeminnow from the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The program is funded by the Bonneville Power Administration and administered by the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in cooperation with the Washington and Oregon departments of fish and wildlife. It has reduced predation from pikeminnow on young salmon and steelhead by approximately 40% since it began.

Details on how to register for the program and applicable state fishing regulations are also available on the program website. Anglers will find resources on the site, including maps, how-to videos and free fishing clinics, to help boost their fishing game.

For more information about the 2022 Northern Pikeminnow Sport Reward Fishery visit http://www.pikeminnow.org, or call 800-858-9015.

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“Silverspot: the Flight to Recovery,” a short documentary directed by Julia Johanos, was named “Best Oregon Film” by the Oregon Documentary Film Festival earlier this year.

The documentary film highlights new findings in a multi-year collaborative effort to better understand the threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly and its unique habitat. It is viewable at vimeo.com/673760249.

Johanos, then a Student Conservation Association/Siuslaw National Forest intern, teamed up the conservation team last summer to document field research underway in the coastal meadows that provide habitat for the butterfly. Despite being listed as threatened with extinction in 1980, silverspot populations continued to decline.

Serious concerns were raised about the possibility of losing the wild population and focus shifted towards answering key life history questions the team hadn’t found answers to yet.

Recovery of the silverspot butterfly is a joint effort by a team from the U.S. Forest Service,

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, the Oregon Zoo, and many others working together to better understand how to save the species.

In summer 2021, the team expanded work by the dogs and handlers from Rogue Detection Dogs, an organization that trains rescue dogs in non-invasive detection methods to aid conservation research, to see if the four-legged super-sniffers could help find tiny silverspot butterfly caterpillars in the wild; if they could, it would provide useful information about what plants the caterpillars need to survive to adulthood.

“The detection dogs have opened a whole new world for us,” said DeAnna Williams, lead wildlife

biologist for the Siuslaw National Forest. “Without the dogs to point the way, we would still be guessing if our ideas about habitat management were working for silverspot in the wild.”

“As a storyteller,” reflects film director Johanos, “it’s the greatest dream to create something that can make a difference, and getting the chance to work with this unbelievably dedicated community of scientists was incredible. I’m thrilled that their hard work and unwavering commitment to save the silverspot is being recognized.”

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The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water suggests that boat owners need to know about three recent U.S. Coast Guard regulations that have changed, what’s needed to be carried aboard, and how a vessel is to be operated at higher speeds.

1. Fire extinguishers: As of April 20, the USCG enacted a regulation allowing them enforce fire extinguishers having a 12-year expiration date from the date of manufacture.

Additionally, while the new regulation does not change the type, quantity, or requirement for Coast Guard-approved fire extinguishers aboard, it does specify the minimum Underwriter Laboratory (UL) classification of extinguishers to be carried aboard certain vessels — depending on the boat’s model year.

Vessels on the water today that are less than 26 feet and model year 2017 or older may continue to carry older, dated or undated “B-I” or “B-II” disposable extinguishers.

However, when they are no longer serviceable or have reached 12 years of age since manufacture, they must be replaced with newer class “5-B” or greater extinguishers. Boats less than 26 feet and 2018 model year or newer must carry unexpired “5-B,” “10-B” or “20-B” fire extinguishers. Having older “B-I” and “B-II” types do not meet the new carriage requirements.

2. Engine cutoff switch: As of April 1 last year, boat operators have been required to use either a helm or outboard lanyard or wireless engine cutoff switch (ECOS) on certain vessels less than 26 feet when traveling on plane or above displacement speed.

These vessels include (1) boats that have a functioning engine cutoff device installed at the helm or on an outboard engine or have wireless ECOS, or (2) boats manufactured beginning January 2020.

Exceptions to the ECOS requirement include if the main helm of the vessel is in an enclosed cabin or the vessel is not operating on plane or at displacement speed.

Low-speed activities such as fishing or docking do not require use of an ECOS. The vessel operator is also exempt if the boat’s motor produces less than 115 lbs. of static thrust – or about the size of a 2-hp engine.

3. Electronic visual distress signals (eVDSD): Solving the disposal problem of expired pyrotechnic flares, newer electronic visual distress signal devices (eVDSD) use either a white or combination of orange-red/cyan LED lights with infrared (for rescuers with night vision) and are now U.S. Coast Guard-approved.

However, for daytime distress situations you’ll still need to carry aboard an orange distress flag to avoid carrying pyrotechnic devices. eVDSD prices start at about $100 for the white light version.

Also keep in mind every visual distress signal requires regular inspection and maintenance. Batteries are an eVDSD’s potential Achilles heel, so replace them every season. Old eVDSD batteries can be cycled into a flashlight at home – where your life potentially is not at stake.